In Savvy PR Move, Amazon Relaunches Gaga Deal…And Dials Up The Self-Deprecation

Amazon’s Lady Gaga album/cloud storage deal crashed and burned earlier this week, and Amazon’s wooden response didn’t help matters, especially considering Apple’s about to swoop into the space. But Amazon’s relaunching the deal, with a sense of humor, to boot. Will it be enough?

Gaga fire


Someone at Amazon must have read our post about how Apple spun the white iPhone 4 fail into a PR win, because it’s making a game attempt at turning its Lady Gaga blunder around.

The company is relaunching its Lady Gaga offer (99 cents for her new album, plus a free upgrade to 20 GB of cloud music storage on its servers), noting “this time we’re ready.” Earlier this week, a crush of Gaga fans jumping on the deal crashed the company’s servers, creating hours-long download times and leading commenters to publicly flog Amazon via the comments section on the Gaga’s Born This Way album page–creating exactly the opposite of the goodwill it was going for. Not such a great development, considering Apple is expected to sweep majestically into the cloud music-storage market any minute now.

Though the 99-cent Gaga deal was a fabulous opening salvo in what will likely be a pitched battle for cloud music, Amazon’s initial response to the problems was terse. When it responded that “we have been experiencing high volume” traffic, it ignited another debate about Amazon’s monolithic nature and its overly mechanical customer service.

But Amazon looks like it’s now attempting to bring its sense of self-deprecating humor to the table, with its “we’re ready” joke, and a tagline of “Go Gaga again.” Amazon’s director of music Craig Pape is quoted Amazon’s press release, sounding slightly stunned: “Clearly customers are really excited for Lady Gaga’s new album” he begins, surprised that a super-cheap issue (way below profit levels) of a new album of one of the world’s most popular recording artists attracted a lot of attention. It was a response “far above what we expected,” he adds (and we add, mentally, “no $%&* Sherlock!”) and the download frenzy “definitely melted some servers.”

The fact that Amazon’s replaying the special deal from Monday should prove its cloud infrastructure is up to the task, and hopefully lures back any punters who were dissuaded from handing over their cash on Monday because they’d heard about the fiasco. It makes Amazon look good, it makes up for their error, and it’ll earn them a few bucks to boot.

Will it earn them brand loyalty, though? That’s a tougher question to answer.


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